Auto app makes buying, finding recalls a snap

May 20, 2013 8:30:26 PM PDT
The next time you go car shopping, bring your smartphone with you. It could help you save hundreds, if not thousands, in the long run.

A new app called Snafu Scan can save you a good chunk of change. It will also tell you if the car you're looking at has an open recall -- something every car shopper needs to know.

"We know within $200, exactly what they paid for," said James Eleftherion with Snafu Scan.

Eleftherion says this app is 99 percent accurate in providing auction price paid by the dealer.

"So basically you're able to scan your car, or the car that you're looking at, and get the actual dealer cost," Eleftherion said.

It's simple to use. Just open the Snafu app and scan the VIN number barcode. It will access its database and provide you with the cost, as well as open recalls.

"When it comes to brakes, air bags, steering, you really do want to get it taken care of," Eleftherion said.

Manufacturers will repair those recalls for free. But for safety, it's important to know ahead of time what needs to be addressed before making a purchase.

Snafu also showcases 17 tricks of the trade.

"It's got a component called the Bunker," Eleftherion said.

It's like an encyclopedia that explains how to combat dealer tactics. For example, the check engine light.

"A lot of the times, the car dealer will go to the auction. He'll see that the check engine light is on. Rather than fixing the problem, what they'll do is, when they return to the lot, they'll turn off the bulb," Eleftherion said.

The problem? You won't see the check engine light come on and assume the car is fine. Eleftherion says to cross check this, just start your car and...

"All of your panel lights should illuminate for about five seconds," Eleftherion said.

If not all turn on, you know there's an issue.

For Spencer Clark with North Loop Auto Sales, he says it's something his customers will benefit from.

"The customer's always right as far as I'm concerned. So if they're getting a good deal and leave with a smile, that's what we want," Clark said.

Now the Snafu Scan app is free to download and gives you the recall information. But if you want to take advantage of the other features like auction pricing, that costs $10 a month for those bonus features. It's a small price to pay to save in the long run.

Find Jeff on Facebook at ABC13JeffEhling or on Twitter at @jeffehlingabc13


Load Comments